Gunga Din




YOU may talk o' gin and beer
When you're quartered safe out here,
And you're sent to penny-fights and Aldershot it,
But when it comes to slaughter,
You will do your work on water,
And you'll lick the bloomin' boots o' them that's got it.
Now in Injia's sunny clime,
Where I used to spend my time,
A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
Of all them blackfaced crew,
The finest man I knew
Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
You limpin' lump of brick-dust, Gunga Din!
Hi! Slippery hitherao,
Water, get it! Panee lao,
You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din!"
The uniform 'e wore
Was nothin' much before,
And rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind,
For a piece o' twisty rag
And a goatskin water-bag
Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
When the sweatin' troop-train lay
In a sidin' through the day,
When the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
We shouted "Harry By!"
Till our throats were bricky-dry,
Then we wopped him 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
You put some juldee in it
Or I'll marrow you this minute
If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"
'E would dot and carry one
Till the longest day was done,
And 'e didn't seem to know the use of fear;
If we charged or broke or cut,
You could bet your bloomin' nut
'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear.
'E would skip to our attack,
With 'is mussick on 'is back,
And watch us till the bugles made "Retire",
And for all 'is dirty hide,
'E was white, clear white, inside
When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!
It was "Din! Din! Din!"
With the bullet kickin' dust spots on the green;
When the cartridges ran out,
You could hear the front lines shout,
"Hi! Ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"
I shan't forget the night
When I dropped be'ind the fight
With a bullet where my belt-plate should have been.
I was chokin' mad with thirst,
And the man that spied me first
Was our good ol' grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.
'E lifted up my head,
And 'e plugged me where I bled,
And 'e gave me 'arf a pint o' water green;
It was crawlin' and it stunk,
But of all the drinks I've drunk,
I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.
It was "Din! Din! Din!
'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through his spleen--
'E's chawin up the ground,
And 'e's kickin' all around,
For Gawd's sake get the water, Gunga Din!"
'E carried me away
To where a dooli lay,
And a bullet came and drilled the beggar clean.
'E put me safe inside,
And just before 'e died,
"I 'ope you liked your drink," sez Gunga Din.
So I'll see 'im later on,
In the place where 'e is gone,
Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
'E'll be squattin' on the coals,
Givin' drink to poor damned souls,
And I'll get a swig in hell from Gunga Din!
And it's "Din! Din! Din!"
You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
Though I've belted you and flayed you,
By the livin' God that made you,
You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

Rudyard Kipling






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